Jonathan makes history as the first Sligo person to conquer Mount Everest

By Stephen HollandSligo Champion

Jonathan Ruane from Castleconnor has made history by becoming the first person from Co Sligo to reach the summit of Mount Everest.

He reached the peak on Monday at about 12.30am Irish time. Ruane, is a lecturer and research scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Last year he climbed to the summit of the eighth highest mountain in the world, Manaslu in Nepal.Jonathan’s sister Stephanie said that the family were “absolutely delighted and thrilled with the news.”

“Around 12:30am Irish time we all got a lovely text message from on top of the world which Jonathon had prewritten for obvious reasons he can’t really whip out the phone and take off the gloves and start texting,” she said with a laugh.

As to be expected the last part of the climb is the most dangerous but not for the reasons many may think.

“Everest is getting quite busy these days so in terms of one of the dangers or the kind of worrying parts is the last part because you’re almost in a queue at the top and you’re tied to a rope so you can’t just overtake people,” said Stephanie.

“When we woke up on Tuesday we heard he was in base camp so he came down quickly. I was on a call to him and he’s feeling good and healthy and now he’s planning his flights back home.”

Jonathan’s journey home will see him flying to Dublin and then returning to Sligo with Stephanie saying they are already busily preparing posters and banners for his arrival stating ‘we have a lot of catching up to do’.

He has received support from many people across social media.

Jonathan is a former student of St. Muredach’s College in Ballina.

Enniscrone walking club, located not far from Ruane’s home, also posted on their Facebook writing: “We want to say a huge congratulations to Jonathan Ruane, of the next parish, on reaching the summit of Everest in the early hours of this morning.

“What an incredible test of human endurance. We wish him a safe return, and hope to hear all about it when he gets back to Sligo.”

While Irish Seven Summits said: “Jonathan Ruane has just become the 1st Irish summit of Everest this season and is the first from Sligo to ever do so. His completes the 72nd Irish summit of Everest and is the 56th Irish climber to summit the world’s highest peak. This is Jon’s second 8000m summit.”

Jonathan has always taken on challenges, one of his most memorable being the Marathon des Sables which he completed in 2011 in Morocco. Everest has been attempted more than 20,000 times and has seen 310 deaths from 1921 to 2021. The deadliest years were 2014 (17) and 2015 (19).

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